Argos issues apology over weekend web meltdown
Leading retailer leaves thousands of online shoppers frustrated after internal glitch forces official website offline
Argos has issued a formal apology to customers after the company’s website went off-line for several hours over the weekend. Visitors hoping to cash in on the pre-Christmas bargains were faced with 'crowd control' messages during the website outage, which some have speculated was caused by too many customers trying to access the site.
Sources told The BBC that an internal fault was to blame for the fiasco which meant many shoppers missed out on special offers.
The incident raises questions around the company’s ability to manage a large influx of traffic, coming just weeks before “Black Friday” – the infamous peak in Christmas shopping online.
Paul Heywood, managing director for EMEA at Internet performance company Dyn, said: "Downtime can cause huge problems for retailers. Not only does downtime halt sales, but the long term damage on a brand’s reputation can be immeasurable. Online retailers face high expectations from shoppers who expect the site to be secure, fast and reliable at all times and downtime means they turn to a competitor.
To combat this, when an outage of magnitude occurs, retailers need to make sure that they have the right technology in place to still deliver an optimal customer experience," Heywood concluded.
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